Alcohol and road safety

 

Sir, – Under new drink-driving legislation, anybody convicted of driving with more than 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in the system now faces an automatic three-month driving ban. The blood alcohol limit for learner drivers and professional drivers is 20mg. This legislation will further deter motorists from risking a drink-driving conviction and encourage them to adhere to the Road Safety Authority’s appeal to never drink and drive.

Of course, people are entitled to have a few drinks of an evening. Nursing a bottle of stout at home on your lonesome bears no comparison to enjoying a cool velvety pint of black in the convivial atmosphere of the local pub. It’s often left to kind neighbours to ensure that no rural dweller is denied a relaxing evening in the pub. In that regard, the availability of a nightly rural transport service would be a great help. Another very feasible option is a “drop and collect” by a local taxi or mini-bus service.

Whenever I’m travelling to a match or a social event with family or friends, we have an understanding that the driver remains alcohol free. It’s a great system which is ideal for rural socialising and sports fixtures. If five people car pool, four occupants can enjoy a drink in comfort knowing they have a designated alcohol-free driver to get them safely home.

Safety on the road depends on a number of variables. Mobile phone misuse, fatigue, defective vehicles, inexperience, excessive speed and illegal drugs all contribute to road accidents. But if each one of us was to make a moral decision never to drive with alcohol in the system, the Road Safety Authority’s ongoing campaign for safety on our roads would get a welcome boost. – Yours, etc,

BILLY RYLE,

Tralee,

Co Kerry.